Friday, March 27, 2009

A Tale of Two Lodgings, Part Deux: Hotel Kabuki in SF

On my last trip to California back in December, I was very interested what I drank and what I wore. The thematic focus of last weekend's trip was more location, location, location. I stayed in a part of the city I'd never seen before. Nothing could have really topped Borg's, but I would also recommend the Hotel Kabuki in Japantown.

View from the Hotel Kabuki

That was the view from our room on the 16th floor. Click to embiggen, because that's the motherfrackin' Golden Gate bridge, my friends! Or a very good matte painting that was hung three feet off our balcony. Either way it was nice. The weather was that gorgeous the whole time. And because I am totally getting my Fodor's on, as one of my wonderful readers said, I want you to know that this place is also very affordable if you need a city getaway. I booked on Priceline and paid $110 a night. You can pay less for a smaller bed, lower floor, etc. I didn't know what we were getting, exactly, but we lucked into a corner room. And since I already showcased the bed at the Borg, a "thrilling bedscape" as a friend commented, here's the bed situation at Kabuki.

Hotel Kabuki, Japantown

You know, perfectly nice, kind of generic hotel comfort. The only really Japanese thing about our room was the deep soaking tub in the bathroom, with a little bathing stool and faucets outside the tub so you could get clean before getting in for a soak. This place had two bottles of water on the desk, each wearing a little sign that announced it would cost us $6 if we drank it. Plus a minifridge stocked with things you dare not touch. Um, no thanks. But they made up for that lapse in taste by having excellent bathrobes.

Anyway, the main thing to recommend the Hotel Kabuki is its location. I had never been to Japantown, and it's really nice and not too far away from everything. A few blocks, and you're in the Fillmore, and Union Square is a short bus ride away. Or you could walk there, if you're Matt, because that's what he did. The most wondrous thing of all is that the Hotel Kabuki is practically next door to the Ichiban Kan store. This is like a Japanese Ikea, if everything in Ikea cost a dollar. It's just housewares, tools, paper, dishes, really any kind of small goods. And it is awesome.
Ichiban Kan

More Ichiban Kan

I went in this place like three times, and all of the gifts I brought back were from here. They are most famous, I guess, for all the bento boxes and supplies they sell. I picked up these babies, egg molds.
Love! Plus I got like a ton of other stuff--little his and hers rice bowls and chopsticks for the kids, more bento stuff, a silk dressing gown for Betty, donburi bowls and tea cups for my parents, something advertised as "nipple covers" (I'll let you know), bamboo flower holders, paper products, and little candies. Also down the street from the hotel was a Nijiya Market that sold delicious sushi, and there were good restaurants all around. We ate at Dosa one night, which was South Indian, not Japanese, but it was delish.
Japantown in general, and the Hotel Kabuki in particular, have the Suburban Matron Seal of Goodness. This concludes my travel reportage. We are heading to the rainy mountains this weekend. Y'all have a good one and keep it classy.

18 comments:

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

You've convinced me! That soaking tub sounds fantastic.

Err, how do those egg molds work? You mold eggs in them? Somehow?

Becky said...

LM, I'm not that sure how to use the egg molds. I'm hoping that my friend Bren will wander by these comments and explain. Neither the instructions on the package, nor the little pictures, are very helpful.

Bex said...

1. at first i thought that was a painting - then i thought, no, it must be a photo and now i'm just confused!

must go to ichiban kan! must must must! the frugal shopper in me is having spasms that we are not on priceline right now booking a flight!

i'm going to NYC next week, any cheap shopping suggestions?

your toe nails really go with the room decor. nice work!

Keely said...

You must crack the egg in there and then cook it? No?

I love love love japanese dollar stores! I want one...

Scott said...

I really like the fact that Ichiban Kan's slogan is "different things!"

I mean, how all-encompassing is that??!!

Michele said...

Wasn't this the same trip that you scored the first class tickets? So cool seats and cool hotel.

Ginny Marie said...

Wow! What a deal, and a beautiful view! And everything is so green. It's Californi-ay, after all. Everything is still very brown around here. But we did see little baby lambs on our travels in Iowa.

Casey said...

Those molds are cute! I wonder if you put scrambled eggs in the microwave with them? And what's this uhm, nipple coverage you speak of?

The Dental Maven said...

I'm tellin' you Girl, you should be getting paid for this!!!

Amy said...

I totally get the kitschiness and charm of the Pacific Grove motel, but I think if I had to choose between the two I'd pick the Kabuki. Just looks more comfy, I guess. I know that is very uncool of me, but there it is.

Love your descriptions of both! They both sound like really fun places to be. And nice pedicure, too!

Bren said...

Okay. Egg molds. 1. boil egg 2. peel egg while still hot 3. place warm, peeled, boiled egg in egg mold. 4. Close egg mold. 5. Place mold in fridge, or, if in hurry, in cold water 6. Unveil boiled egg in shape of cute bunny or car and allow children to be always happy with excellent fun flavor.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3121/2588634895_4b9969e6ff.jpg?v=0

Becky said...

Whew, thanks for the egg mold directions, Bren. I'm going to try it out on Hank tomorrow.

And Bex, it is a real photo, I was kidding! And OMG if you're going to NYC, you have got to go to Muji. I've never been there--I've only lusted from afar. It's the real Japanese IKEA, I'd say. I'll email you a link. . .

And Amy, I agree that if you had to live in one of these two places for a week, and do actual work while you were there, Kabuki would be the winner.

But we should have a big meetup in Pacific Grove and all stay at the Borg sometime!

Michele Renee said...

Sounds like the ideal trip in that you had the two different hotels. If I had to pick just one it would be Borgs. I can just feel the fresh air from the photos.

Louise said...

I love San Fran it's one of my favorite cities.

A Day That is Dessert said...

We lived in SF the year Abbott was a baby, while Alexi did a fellowship. A great city!!

Sara said...

'different things!' reminds me of the 'holidays!' sweatshirt.

oh man i would have loved that store.

can't wait to see the molded eggs and nipple covers pics. :)

ask David about bento bento!

Sara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara said...

Heavens! I'm littering all over your comments. Sorry!
Not brother David..friend David.